A Country Beginning
Snowdrop Merino was born in 2010, however, the inspiration was born many years earlier – in 1982 when an orphaned lamb arrived in the kitchen one cold wet night on our wool growing property in Western Victoria.
I agreed with Dad that I would love to raise this lamb myself. Snowdrop grew into a cheeky ewe and my favourite pet.
Snowdrop went on to create her own empire of ‘Snow’ progeny including Snowball, Snowflake, Snowman and Snowcap!
Snowdrop produced beautifully white, soft and stylish wool, around 18 microns in diameter and very similar to the wool used in these jumpers. Her first fully grown fleece was eagerly entered in the local show and ended up winning the most attractive fleece in show!
These early experiences inspired me to continue my interest in the wool industry. After studying Agricultural Science and Wool Classing and working in the field for over 10 years, I finally settled down to family life.
With 3 young children and two Grandmas that (still) don’t knit, I thought it was high time to develop a practical, stylish and easy to care for jumper that is suitable for all adventure loving children out there, so they too can benefit from the most wonderful qualities of merino wool, hence Snowdrop Merino was born!
I hope you too will love our Australian grown and made garments for children…
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About Merino Wool
The merino wool fibre has so many wonderful attributes that makes it superior to any other fibre.
We could write a book on it, but to keep it simple we have outlined the key features of merino wool in relation to clothing for children.
The power to stretch under strain and revert to the original position when the strain is released.
Wool has greater elasticity than any fibre. A damp wool fibre is able to stretch up to 70% of its original length. This feature of wool means it is less likely to sag or lose its shape.
Kids know how to stretch and reshape any material but they won’t be able to outsmart wool!
Wool fibres may be repeatedly bent thousands of times before breaking, where other fibres become weakened and break much sooner.
Wool clothing does not wear as quickly as other fibres on surfaces subject to friction or bending such as elbows and knees.
Perfect for our little tikes who spend their entire day bending and rebending fibres!
Due to its elasticity, wool clothing crushes less easily than other fibres and if creased in packing, soon recovers its normal appearance, especially when hung in a damp atmosphere.
It’s a fact, the majority of mums hate ironing – thank heavens there is now one less item to throw in the ironing basket!
Warmth and lightness:
The elasticity and crimpiness of the merino fibre forms small air spaces in the fabric which conducts heat.
The finer the fabric the more effective it is in providing warmth and lightness for cooler weather. Have you ever tried to get your child to put on a big bulky jumper for the outdoors without threats and tears?
A merino jumper is so easy to wear they won’t even realise it is good for them!
Wool differs from most other fibres.
Cotton, flax and rayons and other cellulose fibres are highly flammable, especially when dry. When great heat is applied to wool, it will smoulder but does not burn readily. This low flammability makes woollen clothing very suitable for children.
We don’t even want to think about any possibility of our children getting burnt, but I know what mine will be wearing the next time we have a bonfire.
No other textile fibre will absorb moisture to the same extent as wool.
Dry wool will absorb one-third of its weight before becoming saturated. Perspiration is therefore removed from the skin by the fibre and is released as vapour, helping to keep you cool and dry during exertion. Wool garments never become ‘clammy’.
In addition, as wool absorbs moisture, heat is generated. Putting on a woollen garment after doing strenuous work can prevent the body from becoming chilled because the body is actually warmed as the perspiration is being absorbed.
When passing out into the colder outside air in woollen clothing, the wool is not only a good insulator, but takes up moisture from the air and generates heat. While synthetics are passive, merino is active – reacting to changes in your body temperature to insulate and keep you warm when you are cold and release heat and moisture when you are hot.
No wonder our children insist on wearing jumpers in the middle of summer!
Ref: Sheep Management and Wool Technology by J. B D’arcy
Australian Wool Innovation